December 28, 2010 § 1 Comment
Fire is a symbol of perpetual change, since it is the agent of transmutation: it transforms a substance into another substance without being a substance itself. Heraclitus claimed that fire is the primordial element: Fire is the origin of all matter; all things derive from fire and will return to fire. Heraclitus looked at everything as being in the state of permanent flux – reality being nothing else than a succession of transitory states.
J. E. Cirlot describes the difference between metamorphosis and transmutation as follows: Metamorphosis, the transformation of one being into another, is an expression for the “difference between the primigenial, undifferentiated Oneness and the world of manifestation.” (as well as being related to the general symbolism of Inversion). Everything may be transformed, substituted, for anything else. Transmutation, on the other hand, is metamorphosis in an ascending direction. Moving away from the rim of the ever turning wheel of transformation, moving instead towards the “non-spatial and timeless” Centre.